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A Look At The Highest Paid Athletes In The World Right Now

With news being confirmed this morning that LeBron James has moved to the LA Lakers on an eye-watering four-year $154 million deal, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at the who are the current highest-earning athletes in the world right now, according to Forbes

10. Matthew Stafford – $59.5 million*

Last summer, Matt Stafford signed the richest contract in NFL history with the Detroit Lions, he has since been surpassed in that regard by Matt Ryan and Jimmy Garoppolo. Stafford’s five-year deal is worth $135 million.

DETROIT, MI – DECEMBER 31: Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) looks at an official during a game between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions on December 31, 2017 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

He was the number 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft and he also has a huge number of endorsements including Nike and PepsiCo.

9. Matt Ryan – $67.3 million

Matt Ryan became the NFL’s first $30 million per year player when he signed a new contract in May which will take him up to 2023.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JANUARY 13: Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second quarter in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 13, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The deal set new records for average salary ($30 million), total value ($150 million), guaranteed money ($100 million) and signing bonus ($46.5 million, with half deferred to April 2019).

8. Stephen Curry – $76.9 million

Curry signed the NBA’s first $200 million contract last summer which will last for five years.

OAKLAND, CA – JUNE 23: Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry arrives at Water For Life Charity Softball Game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on June 23, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images)

Such is Curry’s soaring height in the NBA right now, his current contract almost tripled his earnings from his previous one.

7. Roger Federer – $77.2 million

The only professional tennis player in the Top-10, the 20-time Grand Slam champion will be looking to add to his trophy haul as he got his Wimbledon campaign underway with a straight-set victory.

Switzerland’s Roger Federer returns to Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic during their men’s singles first round match on the first day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 2, 2018. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

A man who certainly knows how to market himself, Federer has $116 million in prize-money throughout his career but it’s his endorsements and commercial dealings which really makes his money.

6. LeBron James – $85.5 million

The NBA’s superstar and in many people’s opinion, the GOAT, James has just signed a four-year $154 million deal with the LA Lakers as he leaves his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, for the second time in his career.

CLEVELAND, OH – JUNE 08: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers defended by Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors during Game Four of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 8, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

As this list was updated last month, his new Lakers deal may nudge him up in the rankings.

5. Neymar – $90 million

The poster boy of Brazilian football, Neymar will be hoping to guide his side past Mexico in today’s Round of 16 World Cup clash. Last summer, he signed a five-year contract with PSG in a total deal of $600 million, $350 million of which will go to the Brazilian’s salary.

Brazil’s forward Neymar takes part to a training session at the Samara Arena stadium on the eve of the Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 football match between Brazil and Mexico on July 1, 2018 in Samara. (Photo by Manan VATSYAYANA / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)

He was the first soccer player to have his own custom Air Jordan sneakers made by the Swoosh.

4. Conor McGregor – $99 million

Ah yes, Ireland’s beloved Conor McGregor. His much anticipated and hyped fight with Floyd Mayweather netted the Dubliner a cool $85 million while he signed multiple endorsements with commercial partners in the promotion of that fight.

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 03: Conor McGregor attending The British Fashion Awards on December 3, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Mark R. Milan/GC Images)

McGregor has made headlines for the wrong reasons lately and fans will be hoping to see him back in the Octagon soon.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo – $108 million

Ronaldo couldn’t help his country from exiting the World Cup at the hands of Uruguay but at least he has the caveat of being the second richest footballer on the planet.

Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo arrives at the Zhukovsky airport, about 40 km southeast of Moscow, on July 1, 2018, as Portugal’s team departs following their loss the previous day to Uruguay in their Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 football match. (Photo by Vasily MAXIMOV / AFP) (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)

His current contract with Real Madrid is set to pay him over $50 million for the next three years through his 36th birthday and his lifetime Nike contract is worth upward of $1 billion.

2. Lionel Messi – $111 million

Another superstar who has exited from the World Cup, Messi couldn’t help his much-maligned Argentina teammates from losing to France at the weekend.

KAZAN, RUSSIA – JUNE 30: Lionel MESSI of Argentina during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Round of 16 match between France and Argentina at Kazan Arena on June 30, 2018 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Stefan Matzke – sampics/Corbis via Getty Images)

His annual salary of $80 million lasts until his contract expires at the end of the 2020/21 season with Barcelona.

1. Floyd Mayweather – $285 million

Who else?

Mayweather orchestrated the commercial aspect of his fight with McGregor expertly to earn $275 million for just 36 minutes of work and also $10 million for work done outside the ring.

The fight pushed Mayweather’s career earnings to $1 billion, joining Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods as the only athletes to reach 10-figures in earnings.

*Figures quoted after each name are based on estimated annual salary as of 5th June 2018.

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email [email protected] or on Twitter